One of the most important rules of crony capitalism is to make the politicians look good. One can do all sorts of things so long as one plays the part. Bankers need to smile and defer (in public) when a political big shot calls on them. It makes the political big shots feel good that one of the Masters of the Universe must genuflect to him or her. Nothing pleases the egomaniacs in Washington DC more. In return the banker, industrialist, whatever gets sweetheart deals, new friends in high regulatory places, and generally cushy treatment from the government.
Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein seems to have learned this lesson. (With a little help from Tim Geithner’s former PR person.)
(From The New York Post)
But the shift has gone beyond the new facial hair the Goldman Sachs chief has adopted (though it helps that he now looks a bit hipsteresque).
Blankfein’s transformation is nothing short of remarkable. Not so long ago, he was the ultimate greedy fat cat, with a gazillion-dollar target on his head; now he’s the darling of the Obama White House.
This tells you how the president’s Wall Street police like their bank honchos: quiet and malleable, unless you’re publicly supporting left-leaning causes and pounding the table for Obamanomics.